Number one: the Star-Ledger reports that Tobree Mostel, the supervisor of the district’s office of Chapter 192 and 193 funding (the line items for tax dollars that contribute to tuition for special education students to attend ultra-Orthodox yeshivas) was fired for confronting the Lakewood School Board about improprieties. From the Ledger:
Mostel claims in the notice that she was targeted after she objected to “certain questionable and unethical practices” by a third-party vendor handling the evaluations for a bulk of the Chapter 193 cases. The notice does not name the vendor but said it processed about 95 percent of the district’s cases.
The unnamed vendor, the notice alleges, “engaged in excess billing” by rushing through student evaluations, rewarded employees for producing evaluations that said students needed special services and copied and pasted evaluations for multiple students.
The notice said Mostel brought these practices to the attention of the Board of Education around August 2016. She then started getting “attacked” by members of the school board, according to the notice.
“Almost immediately, false accusation and bogus complaints started materializing and being asserted by those connected either to the outside company or those who did not want to see the State laws and regulations concerning 193 funding being enforced,” the notice states.
In one case, in October, the Lakewood Board of Education President Barry Iann “falsely accused” Mostel of watching movies at work.
“The charges were completely baseless, but the message to (Mostel) was clear, her days were numbered,” the notice said.
The article also notes that Helen Tobia, the whistle-blower who was the subject of my previous post, has filed suit against the School Board for unlawful termination. She can get in line behind former Business Administrator Thomas D’Ambola and former teachers Giovanna Carlino and Shelby Small. Former Business Administrator Arlene Biesiada and former assistant Lisa Miller have already settled with the Board for for $43,457 and $57,857 respectively.
Litigation and Lakewood seem to go together like white on rice. Perhaps this explains why Lakewood’s line item called “Legal Costs” comes in sky-high at $113 per student while the similarly-sized district, Brick Public Schools, also in Ocean County, lists its Legal Costs at $39 per student. Just another way that Lakewood’s discriminatory culture cheats Latino and Black students who don’t belong to the ultra-Orthodox clique.